Naomi Shihab Nye

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Naomi Shihab Nye
Born (1952-03-12) March 12, 1952 (age 62)
St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Occupation Poet, Songwriter
Genre Poetry

Naomi Shihab Nye (born March 12, 1952) is a poet, songwriter, and novelist. She was born to a Palestinian father and American mother. Although she regards herself as a "wandering poet", she refers to San Antonio as her home. She says a visit to her grandmother in the village of Sinjil was a life-changing experience. She was the recipient of the 2013 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children's Literature.


At the age of six, Nye began writing poems for a magazine article. She was influenced by her mother, who read to her all the time. At first her early works were based on childish things such as cats, squirrels, friends, teachers, etc. It wasn't until she was fourteen that she visited her Palestinian grandmother. This experience heavily influenced her political views and would eventually become part of the messages in her many collections of poetry. Her book "Fuel" is an example. Some of her earlier works were published in Seventeen, Modern Poetry Studies, and Ironwood.

Awards and recognition[edit]

Nye has won many awards and fellowships, among them four Pushcart Prizes, the Jane Addams Children's Book award, the Paterson Poetry Prize, and many notable book and best book citations from the American Library Association, and a 2,000 Witter Bynner Fellowship.[1] In June 2009, Nye was named as one of's first peace heroes.[2]

In October 2012, she was named laureate of the 2013 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature.[3] The NSK Prize is a $25,000 juried award sponsored by the University of Oklahoma and World Literature Today magazine. In her nominating statement, Ibtisam Barakat, the juror who championed Nye for the award wrote, “Naomi’s incandescent humanity and voice can change the world, or someone’s world, by taking a position not one word less beautiful than an exquisite poem.” Barakat also commended her work by saying, “Naomi’s poetry masterfully blends music, images, colors, languages, and insights into poems that ache like a shore pacing in ebb and flow, expecting the arrival of meaning.”[4]

Published works[edit]



Short Stories[edit]


  • Rutabaga-Roo - I've Got A Song And It's For You (Flying Cat - 1979)


  • Naomi Shihab Nye, ed. (1996). This Same Sky: A Collection of Poems from Around the World. Aladdin Paperbacks. ISBN 978-0-689-80630-8. 
  • Naomi Shihab Nye, Ashley Bryan, ed. (2000). Salting the Ocean: 100 Poems by Young Poets. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-688-16193-4. 

Critical studies[edit]

  • Gómez-Vega, Ibis. "The Art of Telling Stornoyies in the Poetry of Naomi Shihab Nye." MELUS 26.4 (Winter 2001): 245-252.
  • Gómez-Vega, Ibis. "Extreme Realities: Naomi Shihab Nye's Essays and Poems." Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics 30 (2010): 109-133.
  • Mercer, Lorraine, and Linda Strom. "Counter Narratives: Cooking Up Stories of Love and Loss in Naomi Shihab Nye's Poetry and Diana Abu-Jaber's Crescent." MELUS 32.4 (Winter 2007):
  • Orfalea, Gregory. "Doomed by Our Blood to Care: The Poetry of Naomi Shihab Nye." Paintbrush 18.35 (Spring 1991): 56-66.



  1. ^ "Poetry in America Celebration - News Releases (Library of Congress)". 2000-02-25. Retrieved 2013-11-13. 
  2. ^ "One of the Top Christian Colleges in Indiana | Goshen College". Retrieved 2013-11-13. 
  3. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ "NSK Children's Prize". World Literature Today. Retrieved 2013-11-13. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Art at Our Doorstep: San Antonio Writers and Artists featuring Naomi Shihab Nye. Edited by Nan Cuba and Riley Robinson (Trinity University Press, 2008).

External links[edit]

  • The University of Texas at San Antonio houses a collection of papers from Naomi Shihab Nye. The collection includes the typescripts, manuscripts, drafts, proofs, and other pre-publication forms of the writings of poet and writer Nye. Writings include early and revised drafts of poems, essays, and other writings. Published work is supplemented by hundreds of unpublished poems.
  • Naomi Shihab Nye at Library of Congress Authorities, with 41 catalog records